AIDS Activism among African American Women: Identity and Social Justice
Contribution to Book
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
This is the first study to examine AIDS activism among African American women. It also argues for womanism as a framework that can more accurately examine activism among African American women. Based on in-depth interviews with 36 African American women AIDS activists, this chapter explores factors that encourage activism among this sample of women. Intersectionality, and its emphasis on notions of identity and intersecting oppressions and social justice, is used as the theoretical framework to examine AIDS activism among these women. Findings suggest that their identities as activists and African American women, as well as their spirituality and notions of community uplift and survival have informed their activism efforts. These findings are discussed along with the limitations of utilizing intersectionality as the theoretical framework. Womanism is suggested as a theoretical framework that can extend the notions of identity and activism among people of color emphasized by intersectionality, as it addresses identity and social justice, but also highlights the importance of spirituality and community uplift among this sample of women.